Cox18 is one of the most popular squats in Milan and arguably the only one that runs things in a very unbiased way.
Back in the 1970s, Milan was heavily affected by the social and political turmoil of the so-called “Years of lead”. In this context, squats like Cox18 were the home of the countercultures that deconstructed the fabrics of society and offered a different solidarity network. The building situated at 18, via Conchetta was occupied and reclaimed a number of times since 1976, and I feel like Milan today is in real need of a venue that brings people together like Cox18 does. Because that’s what “Conchetta” used to do in the first place: being a gathering point for the outsiders in the fast-expanding Italian capital of wealth and fashion.
Whether you’re out with friends to grab a drink (maybe at Frizzi & Lazzi or Il Brutto Anatroccolo) or in search of an alternative night out, Cox18 will give you a different perspective on Milan’s lifestyle and culture. Look for the tight wooden gate framed by street artist Blu’s graffiti and step into one of Old Milan’s typical courtyards: you will find all sorts of events going on, from readings at the Calusca library and archive, to the vvvery late night punk shows or electronic dj sets.
The thought that Cox18’s mission is to offer an alternative space for education and entertainment at the same time really is comforting. Cox18 has been and is a consistent point of reference in Milan’s subculture.